Positive Interactions Between Nurses And Physical Therapists Benefit Their Senior Clientele
Pegasus skilled nurses in Studio City and elsewhere are dedicated to the well-being of their senior clientele. They serve as part of a team of other healthcare professionals. As a career home health care nurse, it’s imperative that you understand the interaction between nursing and physical therapy.
As do most nurses, Pegasus home health nurses care for patients with a variety of conditions. Care coordination is part of how they meet the needs of their clients.
Pegasus is nurse-owned and -operated. Our home health care nurses enjoy autonomy in establishing treatment plans. We encourage them to be as proactive as possible, and that includes coordinating patient care.
Positive Interactions Benefit Everyone
Nurses often manage and administer medications and perform specific procedures. Care coordination includes working with other caregivers with these and other tasks such as:
- Assessing patient conditions and requirements
- Determining responsibility for areas of care
- Educating patients, their families, and other caregivers
- Networking and researching resources
- Teamwork with other home care professionals
The goal is to provide patients with the best possible care.
Physical therapists naturally join with nurses in meeting that goal. The therapists examine and evaluate their patients, then develop a treatment plan. As part of the treatment team, they may:
- Be involved in disease management
- Coordinate care with team members
- Help educate patients, their families, and other caregivers
- Monitor the overall health of their patients
- Share responsibility for the well-being of the patient
While there are differences in the care provided by physical therapists and nurses, there’s also significant overlap.
Physical therapists typically care for individuals recovering from an injury, surgery, or a medical condition. They are primarily concerned with improving a patient’s quality of life by increasing their ability to move. Nurses care for medical conditions from the time an individual is born until the end of life.
Nurses and physical therapists frequently share patients and often interact to benefit the health of each individual. Some of the ways in which nurses communicate with physical therapists are:
- Arranging therapy appointments at the most beneficial time for the patient
- Determining whether the patient will benefit from physical therapy
- Providing the therapists with the patient’s medical history, diagnoses, and results of procedures such as x-rays
For their part, physical therapists communicate with nurses about:
- The patient’s medications, because certain drugs affect what movements or intensity of exercises are safe
- Preparing the patient for therapy and monitoring the patient during treatment
- How the patient is doing post-treatment
Commonalities in their training allow nurses and therapists to interact professionally and offer assistance to each other. Accordingly, they may collaborate on things like developing new techniques or equipment.
Conflicts sometimes arise about what each believes is best for the patient. Both the nurse and therapist are expected to communicate with each other professionally and respectfully. When they are unable to resolve their difference of opinion, they consult other professionals, including physicians.
Effective Communication Skills Are Essential For Positive Interactions
Good communication is the heart of a successful healthcare team. A Pegasus team includes all levels of assistance from housekeeping to aides to nurses, therapists, and other professionals. Family caregivers, doctors, pharmacists, and equipment suppliers are also part of providing care.
There are also the patients themselves, who have ideas, preferences, and abilities. As a home health care nurse, you’re interacting with and coordinating everyone else. Your ability to communicate effectively with everyone is crucial in achieving good patient care.
Developing skills in communicating as a nurse includes:
- Being sensitive to cultural differences
- Paying attention to what others are saying
- Reading body language and other non-verbal communication
- Speaking with clarity and concision
Developing your writing skills also aids communication.
Positive Interactions Can Create Synergy
Physical therapists touch patients as part of improving their ability to move. They may observe or discover conditions of which you, as their nurse, might not be aware. Conversely, your observation of patients post-therapy can reveal issues that the therapist may not have noticed during treatment.
Communicating with each other provides information that improves patient care. Synergy occurs when two individuals work together to produce an effect that’s greater than the sum of their separate efforts. Interaction between nurses and physical therapists results in a synergy that benefits patients.
One study reported that nurses believe that physical therapists don’t fully understand “the demands and pressures of nursing . . ..” That’s a barrier to interactions that you can strive to remove. Sharing information in a positive way about your work is part of interacting.
Nurses Are The Leaders In Care Coordination
Nurses are the leaders in coordinating care. Your leadership role includes clarifying the roles and boundaries of all team members, as well as valuing their contributions. It’s essential that you develop and nurture positive interactions with other professionals, such as physical therapists.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our skilled nurses in Studio City and our other locations customize their care to fit the needs of each individual. Our career home health care nurses value good communication and interactions with other professionals.